Sunday, 17 September 2006

Sunday 17 September 2006 - Oxford Falls, Lizard Rock & Red Hill Ride

Sunday started as an absolutely stunning morning, meeting at sport and rec at Narrabeen.

The hangovers from Friday night had cleared, Ed, Brian, Rees T-Bone and Whisperer headed off on a round trip to Oxford Falls and Red Hill. As a variation to our usual ride, we started off anti-clockwise, heading down the (nice and flat) Wakehurst parkway to the entry into the Deep Creek single track (no rabbits this time!). Headed along, enjoying the gentle gradient and into the bush.

I guess we forgot we had had some pretty heavy rain over the previous week, and the undergrowth was hanging low. Didn’t really worry us, but had to keep our heads down as we wound through that particularly stunning section up to the waterfall.

We headed up the powerlines firetrail past Stephe’s water bar, and dropped into more single track up to the Aerodrome dam. Instead of going right and up the cross country track, to Road to Somewhere, we took a left up to the Aerodrome gates. This was fun, winding along and a deceptive little creek crossing that had nearly everyone catching their front wheel in the dip in the middle…

By now we had realized that the rain of last week had left some serious puddles and running water down the tracks, but our enthusiasm for the day didn’t let it become an issue, just started to contribute to a bit of chain suck now and again.

We headed up the fire road some more, past breakfast rock and up to Morgan road. Crossed over to Lizard Rock and took the track to the satellite dishes down the hill. Along the way, decided not to do the famous 30 foot drop, so took the chicken run down the boards. T-Bone felt particularly at one with nature and decided to do some tree hugging on the way down.

The rest of the crew made various attempts, with Ed doing the cleanest, including a momentary nose wheelie on the way down, but saving it with style.

We wound on down the hill enjoying the technical sections, drops and ladders. Near the bottom, there was a creek crossing with a natural jump. T-Bone declared it doable, and proceeded to show us how it should be done. He made it with ease, but landed with his front wheel slightly askew, and we watched as his wheel seemed to fold under in slow motion into a good impersonation of a taco (or pretzel?)

Tbone resigned himself to the long walk back to the car. Whisperer wouldn’t have a bar of that and declared it “fixable” even though it had cracked and separated at the join, held together by a small bit of remaining metal and the tyre.

After much re-bending and with the help of a wooden splint it was turning again and (just) okay to ride. We rode out to the Oxford Falls weir together with T-Bone, and he took the road down to sport and rec for the drive home while we did a lap of Redhill.

We did a reverse lap in from the pumping station, up to the steps and round to the rock platforms before the sand pit. The view from up there is excellent, and as we were savouring the day once more, a couple of other riders came up and showed us the beginning of new track down to sport and rec.

The new track begins with an off camber rock section that’s “almost” doable…. and leads into a sweet single track that comes out at the dam above sport and rec. The track also went the opposite direction somewhere, but we didn’t have time to explore, so look forward to it another time. A short blast down the hill and we were back at the cars with ear to ear grins.

All the photos are here... (but no GPS I'm afraid).

- Whisperer


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